If the pandemic has taught the business world just one lesson, it’s that remote work capability is absolutely essential.
Thailand has thus far done a commendable job flattening the COVID-19 curve, but there is no guarantee that the country won’t see a second wave of infections. And even if a vaccine is developed, which likely won’t happen anytime soon, there’s no telling what other surprises this new decade has in store for us.
Now that things are just about back to normal, it’s the perfect time to improve (or establish) your business’s remote work capability.
If you’re not sure how to approach the problem, our digital agency in Thailand has got your back. This blog covers everything you need to know to help you go remote quickly and effectively.
Facilitating remote work for your staff
- Stop storing documents on your computer
Transferring all your documents from your work PC to your laptop is both tedious and risky. What if your hard drive crashes? Those important files will be lost forever. It’s far better to store your documents on a cloud system. Remote storage makes sense at all times, but especially when your people are working from home.
Services such as Office 365 (One Drive/ SharePoint), Google Suite (Drive File Stream), and Dropbox instantly save your files to the cloud whenever you create a new document, making them nearly impossible to lose.
What’s more, these services allow access to your files from any device – laptop, smartphone, or tablet. You just have to download the corresponding application, log in, and the files will be at your fingertips. You can also easily grant access to your co-workers, letting you collaborate in real-time while avoiding the hassle of uploading, downloading, and trying to work out which version of the file is the most recent one.
Bonus tip: While you’re setting up your “work cloud”, you may wish to do the same with your personal files.
- Set up remote access to your email
While working from home, you’ll need a simple and effective way to reach colleagues and clients. Messaging is easy for those who already work with a system like Gmail, as it allows you to access your inbox from any location. But if your company prefers an email service like Outlook, you may need to ask your IT team how to access your account from your browser at home. Again, apps for your phone or tablet are a great way to access your data as well.
- Establish structured daily touchpoints
Most people are used to having daily face-to-face interactions with their colleagues. It’s important to keep these social aspects of work alive, even if they need to happen through a screen. Email alone won’t cut it, though. Remote workers benefit from having the types of richer experiences that teleconferencing or group chats can provide. This communal space helps to reduce the sense of isolation among team members, and is particularly helpful for complex or delicate conversations. Great tools to consider are Slack, Google Chat, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
Making sure your customers can do business with you remotely
- Keep an online presence
A digital presence is essential for just about any business in this day and age. Your customers need to be able to find you online, especially if your real-world location hasn’t fully re-opened yet.
Services like Wix allow you to build a simple website for free. If you’re looking for something more elaborate, our web agency in Bangkok can build you a high-performing site with a sleek design at a reasonable price.
At the very least, register your business on Google Maps. It takes 10 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you might as well create Facebook and LinkedIn pages to offer your customers a few more touchpoints. Of course, if you’re not an expert in social media management, we can help with that too.
- Accept online payments
After your customers find you, they also need the ability to pay you online. Modern gateways like Stripe or Omise allow for smooth customer experiences. These services also let you generate unique payment links, which you can send to your customers via online chat.
If you’re planning on receiving a high volume of payments online, you can even build your own e-commerce website. Having your own e-commerce platform saves money over time, and allows you to turn user data into insights that will help serve your customers better.
A time for action
While the above tips can certainly help in a lockdown scenario, all of them were originally developed to improve efficiency and productivity during ordinary periods. That’s why many businesses that stayed ahead of the technological curve found it relatively easy to adjust to the health recommendations established during the pandemic.
The logic behind digital optimization is simple: A strong online presence, complete with easy-to-use payment options, is one of the best ways to drum up new business while keeping existing customers happy.
The benefits also extend to your own employees. By setting up infrastructure that lets you switch easily to a remote form of operations, you can offer more flexible work arrangements for your employees. Such options frequently lead to greater job satisfaction and productivity.
As Thailand settles into a more familiar rhythm, businesses should resist the temptation to fall back into the old ways of doing things. Now is the time to build up the resilience and agility needed to deal with future crises.
Most of the solutions discussed above can be implemented at very low cost – if not free. And if the COVID-19 pandemic caught your business unprepared, then you are already painfully aware of the cost of inaction.
As a general rule, disruption provides an opportunity to rebuild something that is better, stronger, and ideally antifragile. But you must follow through, or risk being struck down again.
The virus may have knocked you off of your feet, but it also gave your business the ability to develop antibodies. Embracing best practices today means that you’ll be ready for whatever may come tomorrow. And if your business goals include long-term success and sustainability, then these sorts of smart digital upgrades will be a key factor in your achievements moving forward.